For conservative and nationalist discourses, these marginalized Others were frequently objects of fascination and revulsion. Yet the horror provoked by Jews, homosexuals, and, in some areas, Gypsies cannot be explained simply by reference to the marginal; it was the way those at the margins of society made the bordelines of gender and nationality blur and shift that threatened to tear apart the very fabric of the patriarchal nation-state as it had been constituted. This threat was perhaps especially acute in Germany, whose identity as a unified nation was so tenuous.
Conservatives and fascist ideologies adapted the notion that Jews were alien to the national community to a cultural critique that attributed the inauthenticity of contemporary mass culture to Jewish influence. Jews, not having a fixed location, could not share in cultures rooted in the community of blood or soil and were therefore reduced to the imitation of other cultures, to artifice.
For many liberalcentrists of the 1930s fascism seemed not so much intrinsically wrong as wrong-headed, offering solutions that were at once too extreme and inadequate to address the crises of modernity.